Written on: April 2, 2016
Sister Marlene Butler (Sister John Marlene), a native of Buffalo, New York, met the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart at Holy Angels Academy. She had not known the Grey Nuns before that and marveled at their habits of grey and black. From her earliest years in religious life, she was involved in education, first as a teacher and then as Principal of her alma mater, Holy Angels Academy. Marlene was the first woman to serve in campus ministry at Canisius College in Buffalo where she was the assistant director and then the Director, again the first woman to hold that position. She was elected President of the Grey Nuns in 1998 and served the congregation for the next ten years. She is presently Director of Mission in Sponsored Institutions of the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart and resides in the Philadelphia area.
My 60 years as a Grey Nun has afforded me many opportunities. I have been privileged to be part of the lives of so many persons—students in elementary school, high school and college as well as their parents. Each ministry has enriched my life through the persons with whom I have worked, played and prayed—students, parents, faculty, staff, administrators and colleagues from other institutions. Over the past twenty-five years, along with other ministries, I have been involved in retreat ministry and spiritual direction and have learned much from the persons with whom I have journeyed. In each ministry, participation in workshops and conferences has helped to provide me with a broader vision of life and it also provided stimulation of thought. During these years, relationships have been built with students and colleagues. I cherish these relationships and enjoy catching up on all that is happening in their lives. God has blessed me in so many ways during these past years as a Grey Nun of the Sacred Heart.